Rio Lagartos- Alligator River Adventures

Rio Lagartos is quite an adventure, and well worth a trip if you’re ever in the area. It’s kind of what I envisioned Mexico to be like. More primitive, more down to earth, quiet and slow. 

Rio Lagartos or Alligator River is a stunning natural preserve brimming with life. We saw dozens of different birds, sting rays, puffer fish, pike fish, even an alligator. But as they say a picture is worth a thousand words, so mostly I’ll tell you about our visit to the area with a bunch of pictures.

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About 2.5 Hours out of Merida or Cancun it’s about halfway between the two and then straight up to the coast.
At the end of this drive you end up at this cool fishing town.
At the end of this drive you end up at this cool fishing town.
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The main hotel in town is actually very decent and quite cheap. 750 pesos or about $45 a night at current exchange rate. The owner is very friendly.
So after you get in town you have to negotiate for a boat. You have 3 choices. 1. You can pay in dollars- you'll pay around $150-$250 for around a 3 hour boat ride with someone you find on the internet or that will advertise in English. 2. You can negotiate with one of the many boat drivers. They'll quote you around 1200 pesos or $72. 3. You can actually negotiate with them, which we did and pay 750 pesos or $45.
So after you get in town you have to negotiate for a boat. You have 3 choices. 1. You can pay in dollars- you’ll pay around $150-$250 for around a 3 hour boat ride with someone you find on the internet or that will advertise in English. 2. You can negotiate with one of the many boat drivers. They’ll quote you around 1200 pesos or $72. 3. You can actually negotiate with them, which we did and pay 750 pesos or $45.
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Chichi likes the boat ride.
Cielo does too.
Cielo does too.
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Did I happen to mention that there are birds there?
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Cielo loves all kinds of birds.
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Being close up when they start to fly is super cool. They almost walk on the water.
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That’s the city in the background.

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Great Blue Heron. One of many species we saw.
Great Blue Heron. One of many species we saw.
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Like I said, she really, really likes birds.
About 20 mins by boat ride East of the town there is a huge salt factory. Those white mountains are salt.
About 20 mins by boat ride East of the town there is a huge salt factory. Those white mountains are salt.
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You can actually swim in the canals in which they are processing the salt. It’s like the dead sea, super buoyant.
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Having fun “flying” in the salt sea.
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There are tons of horseshoe crab carpaces on the beaches. Did you know they molt their shells and grow new ones? I sure didn’t.

 

Visions of apocalypse now float through my head. What are we getting ourselves into?
Visions of apocalypse now float through my head. What are we getting ourselves into?
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Marcos, our fantastic boat driver and tour guide has to dig about 2 feet deep to find the medicinal clay.
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I really hope this isn’t whale poop or something else disgusting that he “claims” is good for you.
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Your guide will dig up a bunch of clay, and then you’ll put it on your body(or someone else’s). It should have NO smell and be pure white. Some of the lazy guides will give you some clay with imperfections so make sure you insist on the good stuff.
Notice a common theme here?
Notice a common theme here?
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Don’t we look healthier and happier already?
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What’s better than just a boat? A boat with some friends.



Everyone is happy to be on a boat.
Everyone is happy to be on a boat.
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When it’s time to get that clay off your body you can go to the gulf side and their beaches. This beach happens to have a shipwrecked sailboat.
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As far as the eye can see we’re the only ones on the beach. The only way to get there is by boat.




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What better way to wrap up the day than amazing seafood on the malecon. Fresh lobster runs around 250 pesos($15), the ceviche is amazing and runs $6-15 depending on size and what's in it. You can get 1.5 lb fresh fish grilled up for around $6. The pulpo(squid) is excellent here as well.
What better way to wrap up the day than amazing seafood on the malecon. Fresh lobster runs around 250 pesos($15), the ceviche is amazing and runs $6-15 depending on size and what’s in it. You can get 1.5 lb fresh fish grilled up for around $6. The pulpo(squid) is excellent here as well.
Ummmm is that head still attached?
Ummmm is that head still attached?
A fitting end to a great day. The hotels all have viewing decks on their roof.
A fitting end to a great day. The hotels all have viewing decks on their roof.
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And to cap it all off we got to see a Super moon lunar eclipse?

Hope you enjoyed the pictures. We sure enjoyed the weekend. Total cost for a 2 day trip with 2 different boat trips was around $175 or so. You can’t even stay oceanfront in the states for just the hotel room at $175. It’s a fantastic area to go for just a couple of days. Mexico in general is already a pretty laid back place. These small fishing towns take it to a whole other level. It’s very quiet and peaceful, you can imagine the next Hemmingway getting their start in a small quiet town like this.

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